I’ve been waiting. For months, I have been waiting. I had a health episode last February, one that scared me. I thought I had a heart attack. It happened shortly after the inauguration. There was an incident where they were detaining Mexicans coming back to the United States thru O’Hare. That’s our home airport. My father is retired and spends time in Mexico. I didn’t think it phased me but then boom.
I’m not sure what happened that day but I read the news on my phone and the next moment it felt like my heart burst (and not in a good way) and then I got all tingly. I thought for sure, I was dying. Then I took my blood pressure and it was 187/107. I don’t know about you but that is really high for me.
Long story short, after an EKG, ECG and total blood panel work up my heart was fine but maybe my blood pressure was an issue, I found out that I was “prediabetic” or “diabetic untreated” as my paperwork said and I found out that I was severely anemic. So anemic, in fact, that I was almost to the point of needing a transfusion. I’ve been silently terrified for months. I always feel like if I talk about these things I’m tempting someone or something to intervene and not in a good way. Probably a byproduct of all those years in a childhood of “I can give you something to cry about.” No thank you.
Two weeks ago, I went back to see my doctor for some follow-up. Good news is I am no longer “prediabetic” or “diabetic untreated”. I’m also no longer anemic. And it turns out that I probably have white coat syndrome, even though my brother-in-law and one of my best friends are doctors. Blood pressure meds made my blood pressure bottom out. Basically, a couple Thursdays ago, I wanted to shout from the rooftops. I. AM.HEALTHY!
But if you know me… at all, you know, that’s not how I work. I am convinced the minute that I get happy, karma is going to come in and snatch it all away. It’s the way nature keeps me humble. I quietly told my family and every so often yelled, “I’m not diabetic” with a super cheesy smile at my daughters like I won the lottery. Yes, they think I am insane. But I never said it out loud to the universe for fear the other foot would drop.
Then last Wednesday, I went to see my Gynecologist. After all, it’s October. What better time to get my mammogram on, share my selfie and promote breast cancer awareness…plus, it fell perfectly into my monthly cycle. Only, I get sort of terrified ever since that time in 2012 that I went to see my ob/gyn and she told me that my baby’s heart wasn’t beating. Yeah, shit like that tends to give me PTSD. To be honest, every single time I go there, I’m afraid she’s going to give me bad news. It’s like, in my mind, she is the grim reaper. Though logically I know she’s not. In fact, I like her as a person that’s why I keep going back.
Anyways, around my birthday I get all, “get your ducks in a row bish” and I go see all my doctors. I got my mammogram, as I do every year. I always get freaked out that they’re going to tell me bad news. Remember they haven’t always worked so well. They tend to be more for looks than function, apparently but I found out Friday that my mammogram was good. No problems. Woohoo! Again I wanted to tell you, but…other foot.
While I was there and getting the usual pap, things went a little weird, thanks to 3 little fibroids (one for each pregnancy). Only they are not so little and they are causing some issues. Nothing big, just enough to be a nuisance. Enough to definitely give me an abnormal Pap. So, I got a surprise biopsy. Have I ever told you how much I hate the surprises I get at doctors’ offices? Surprise…no heartbeat. Surprise…biopsy of your cervix.
It all happened so fast, I really don’t remember much of what she said. I do know that biopsies are usually done to diagnose cancer. I also can tell you that when you aren’t expecting them, they hurt. Don’t believe that “it’ll just be a little pinch bullshit.” It was more than a pinch but better to get a “pinch” than living with undiagnosed cancer. I want to live. Even saying the word feels like I should spit to avoid the evil eye.
I have a deep cervix and me and that damn super-sized speculum are well-acquainted. I’ve given birth to two big-headed babies. I’ve had gallbladder attacks, broke the shit out of my leg and had cells scraped from the roof of my mouth and I can tell you, while it was no gallbladder attack a cervical biopsy is no freaking pinch. If you ever have to get one, definitely get it but take some ibuprofen or ask for a local beforehand. It felt like she took a tiny melon baller to my cervix and it was not the surprise I wanted to have when I’m naked from the waist down. Why is it never, “Surprise you are my 1millionth Pap and you just won 1 million dollars and you are going to Disney World!”? Why ? I could get into that kind of surprise.
My doctor told me she was just doing it as a precaution since I was spotting during the Pap. Ladies, you know, bleeding of any kind during a pap can cause it to come back abnormal. She did the biopsy just to make sure that even if the pap came back abnormal she could rule out cancer. Then she said, “It’s the fibroids, Debi. I’m almost sure of it.”
Don’t’ get cocky lady. Last time I got cocky and thought it was “nothing”, I left your office with a baby with no heartbeat and I howled like a dying animal in the parking lot and I haven’t been the same since.
I’ve been waiting. To be such a damn amazing procrastinator, I am a horrible waiter. I’ve been imagining all of the awful scenarios. Cervical cancer. Uterine cancer. Endometrial cancer. Cancer. Cancer. Cancer. Have I mentioned everyone I’ve ever known that had a female reproductive part cancer died? I am terrified.
Missing my daughters grow up. Missing first confirmations. Missing the quinces. Missing graduations. Missing college. Missing first loves. Missing the big loves. Missing their weddings. Missing grandbabies. Missing being there just to hear them talk when they needed me to listen. Mentally messing them up forever because I wasn’t there when they needed me most.
Current status: I’m living in a Xanax induced fog praying the days go by quickly and willing myself not to cry like a giant baby. I’m calling every few hours and I’m trying not to live in that deep, dark howling hole. I’m being a real pain in my doctor’s ass because I need to know. I told y’all I’m a bootstrapper so if there’s an issue ( God, I hope there isn’t) then I want to start working to fix it and if there isn’t, I want to announce it to the world. Either way, when cancer is on the table, even just as a precaution and I know cancer is technically always on the table, but to have the biopsy makes it feel a little more tangible and I am freaked out. Like vomit, nauseous, cry for no reason panicky freaked out.
I’ve told y’all I’m a bootstrapper so if there’s an issue ( God, I hope there isn’t) then I want to start fighting it and if there isn’t, I want to announce it to the world. Either way, when cancer is on the table (even just as a precaution) and I know cancer is technically always on the table, but to have the biopsy makes it feel a little more tangible and I am freaked out. Like vomit, nauseous, cry for no reason panicky freaked out.
I called last night and they said that they had the results but my doctor wasn’t in and she needed to interpret them before they could give me the results which only made me more freaked out like there was something there and they wanted her to tell me. I’ve got my fingers, toes, and ovaries crossed that everything is good but I’m mentally preparing myself for whatever comes my way. I’ll be sure to update this post when I find out either way.
Have you ever had a biopsy or a health scare that terrified you? What did you do to get through the waiting?